he Dental Care Diet: Foods That support Your Teeth
A routine teeth cleaning twice a year will keep your teeth in tip-top shape, followed of course with brushing and flossing twice a day. There are many preventative steps in keeping your teeth healthy and cavity-free. It’s interesting, though, because gum disease and tooth decay still rank high in prevalent diseases in the US, and our mouths are things we tend to take care of the most. So, you’re answer to why oral diseases are still so common, may just have to do with what’s hidden in your kitchen!
The question of healthy teeth may lie in the in-between of what you’re eating and your trips to the dentist. Even if you practice the best oral hygiene, foods can greatly impact your overall oral health. Instead of vilifying the foods that cause damage to your teeth (that may be our next blog!) we’ll focus on the foods that nourish and support your teeth. So here’s to eating your way to healthy teeth!
An overview of foods that support your teeth
Different systems in our bodies require different nutrients, like eyes crave lutein and zeaxanthin and our vascular system, omega-3 fatty acids. Our teeth and mouth, too, need specific nutrients to function optimally.
Eat foods with calcium and phosphorus
The enamel that encompasses your teeth are minerals, and consuming acidic foods overtime eats away at the enamel. To support what was lost and to strengthen them overall, eat foods rich in calcium and phosphorus.
Calcium rich foods include: dark leafy greens, sardines (with bones), *dairy, and almonds.
* when you consume dairy try to avoid flavored yogurts, as they contain a lot of sugar, and this would be counterproductive.
Phosphorus rich foods include: Brazil nuts, eggs, broth, sunflower seeds, tuna, and white beans.
Eat foods with high-water content that are also crunchy
Crunchy, hard foods are excellent for oral health because they require more chewing, which in turn produces saliva. Saliva is beneficial to your teeth for neutralizing the bad bacteria that cause cavities. The texture of these foods are also great because they’re mildly abrasive, so they’ll clean and scrub the surface of your teeth, taking with it plaque and food particles.
Crunchy, high-water content foods include: carrots, apples, celery, and cucumbers.
Get your vitamins
Vitamin D – this vitamin is amazing for some many biological functions in your body, from immune support to oral health. Vitamin D is crucial for your teeth, because it helps the body absorb calcium. Get vitamin D through the sun, cod liver oil, and fish, and egg yolks.
Vitamin C – Like vitamin D, vitamin C contributes to many processes in the body. It also supports immune health and inflammation balance. When inflammation is addressed, this may lead to healthier gums. Vitamin C supports collagen production, a protein that aids in fighting periodontal disease. Eat citrus fruits, strawberries, and red peppers for the highest amounts of vitamin C.
Remember the less known nutrients
Antioxidants – maybe antioxidants aren’t less known — they’re all the rave — but they are amazing for fighting bacteria that causes inflammation and periodontal disease. They can also protect from cell damage and bacterial infections.
Probiotics – Bacteria can be both beneficial and harmful in the body, and probiotics are the good bacteria that you do want. Probiotics can help reduce plaque and support healthy gums. You can find naturally occurring probiotics in yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods.
- Anthocyanins – this nutrient supports oral health by preventing the attachment of plaque and fighting oral cancer. Cherries, berries, grapes, and eggplants are a wonderful source of anthocyanins.
- Arginine – this amino acid is similar to anthocyanins in that it may help reduce cavities by disrupting the formation of plaque. Find it in meat and nuts.
- Polyphenols – help prevent gum disease, cavities, and bad breath by consuming polyphenols. These little compounds scrub your teeth and slow the growth of cavity causing plaque. Drink plenty of tea — black and green specifically, berries, cocoa, and flaxseed.
Dr. Mojgan Mazhari DDS
Here at Dr. Mojgan Mazhari DDS, we are here to help give you the best smile possible. Whether it’s a simply teeth cleaning or talking about preventative measures such as food, we want you to feel great about smile.
Schedule an appointment today!